すいません vs. すみません: Which Is Better for You?

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すいません vs. すみません: Which Is Better for You?

What is the difference between “すいません and すみません”? They have subtle differences. Even though the meaning of them are the same, they have subtle differences. After reading this, you would be answering this question. Let me introduce what their subtle differences are and how you correctly use them such as native speakers today!




すいません (suimasen) / すみません (sumimasen)

Sorry, I’m sorry / 抱歉, 对不起 / 미안합니다, 죄송합니다 / Xin lỗi, Xin thứ lỗi

“すいません and すみません” ordinarily means “Sorry and I’m sorry “, however, they have some meanings such as “Thank you, Excuse me and Sorry”. For instance, the meaning of “Thank you”: after you got a present from someone, you could say “すいません/すみません、ありがとうございます。”. This is one of the Japanese cultures. However, this “すいません/すみません” does not mean “Sorry”. And the meaning of “Excuse me”: when you want to politely get someone’s attention, especially when you are about to ask them a question, you could say “すいません/すみません”. And finally, the meaning of “Sorry”: as a way of apologizing to someone for something that you have done which has upset them or caused them difficulties, or when you bump into them accidentally.

The difference between “すいません and すみません” is that: “すみません” is an official word in Japanese, however “すいません” is easy to say, so most Japanse use “すいません” in daily conversation as the casual meaning of “Thank you and Excuse me”. However, if you apologize to someone who is your boss or elderly people as the meaning of “sorry”, you might want to use “すみません” instead of “すいません”. That’s what the difference between them. Lastly, when you use “すいません / すみません” as the meaning of “Thank you”, it is pretty formal. Basically, it is used for your boss, elderly people or people who you don’t know well.

Example
ゆか
度々たびたびすいません (Sorry to bother you again.) (非常抱歉。) (매번 미안합니다.) (Xin lỗi lại làm phiền bạn một lần nữa.)
たつや
度々たびたびすみません (I’m sorry to bother you over and over.) (真是对不起。) (매번 죄송합니다.) (Xin lỗi lại làm phiền bạn một lần nữa.)
たつや
無理むりってすいません (Sorry for asking so much of you.) (真是抱歉,勉强你了。) (무리한 말해서 미안합니다.) (Xin lỗi vì tôi đã nói những điều vô lý.)
ゆか
無理むりってすみません (I’m sorry for asking so much of you.) (对不起,勉强你了。) (무리한 부탁을 드려 죄송합니다.) (Xin lỗi vì tôi đã nói những điều vô lý.)
ゆか
おくれてすいません (Sorry it’s late.) (抱歉我迟到了。) (늦어서 미안합니다.) (Xin lỗi vì đã đến trễ.)
たつや
おくれてすみません (I’m sorry it’s late.) (对不起,我迟到了。) (늦어서 죄송합니다.) (Xin lỗi vì đã đến trễ.)
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ゆか
すいません。ここは喫煙所きんつえんじょじゃないですよ。 (Excuse me, sir. This is not a smoking area.) (抱歉。这里不是吸烟区。) (죄송합니다. 여기는 흡연장소가 아닙니다.) (Xin lỗi. Đây không phải là chỗ được hút thuốc đâu.)
たつや
すみませんが、ここは喫煙所きんつえんじょではないですよ。 (I’m sorry to bother you, but this is not a smoking area.) (这是来自日本的纪念品。 请尝尝。) (죄송하지만, 여기는 흡연장소가 아닙니다.) (Xin lỗi, nhưng đây không phải là chỗ được hút thuốc đâu.)
たつや
日本にほんからのお土産みやげです。どうぞべてください。 (I brought these for everyone from Japan. Please feel free to try some!) (真是不好意思。谢谢你。) (일본에서 가져온 선물입니다. 맛있게 드세요.) (Đây là quà từ Nhật Bản. Xin mời bạn ăn.)
ゆか
すいません、ありがとうございます! (Thank you very much!) (真不好意思,谢谢您!) (뭐 이런 것까지…감사합니다!) (Xin lỗi, cảm ơn bạn rất nhiều!)

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